This is a guest post by Anthony Breen
“How did you get involved in the Cincinnati start-up community?”
a collaborative community that fosters entrepreneurial success, while maintaining a competitive atmosphere.
Like most entrepreneurs, I get asked this question all the time. Just a few years ago I was asking myself the same thing as a non-native Bostonian attending Xavier University. My goal for this blog is to share a “SparkNotes” version of my story, as well as some tips that may help people who are trying to take the plunge into our start-up community.
I recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Entrepreneurship at Xavier University. Upon graduation, my game plan involved learning and growing at a Fortune 100 or Fortune 500 Cincinnati-based company before moving on to a bigger city where I would create my “Big Idea”.
However, while still at XU, I caught the innovation bug sooner than expected and partnered with members of the Cincinnati community to create several innovations, including a set of educational apps for children with chronic illnesses. I soon discovered an incredibly inclusive entrepreneurial community here in Cincinnati. It’s a collaborative community that fosters entrepreneurial success, while maintaining a competitive atmosphere.
Most recently, I launched FEASTY in the Cincinnati market in March; it’s the first app of its kind to connect hungry consumers with upscale fast-casual restaurants in real time and I’ve received the same “open-arms” support from businesses and professionals as in the past. For those of you who are looking to take advantage of this productive business region, I’ve put together some of my tips
on how to best connect with those who genuinely want to see you succeed.
Whether you’ve just graduated college, you’re kicking off your startup, or are beginning again and rediscovering a new venture later in life, here is what I found to be most beneficial in connecting with the right people.
Don’t meet for coffee just to meet for coffee! Have an ask for them or a mission that they can be involved in! Just know that they have every right to say no!
Rejection is Par for Course
Don’t be afraid of the word “no”. You’re going to hear it A LOT!! It can seem disheartening but it’s usually a blessing in disguise.
Dreaming is Great – Doing is Better
Go and Do! Just build something or do something cool! You’ll learn so much by doing/building things. And you’ll find that the community will rally around you if what you’re doing is cool.
Don’t Waste Your Most Precious Resource
Value time. Time is an entrepreneur’s most valued asset. Don’t waste it; be efficient with time.
Solve a Problem
Only the unmet need motivates. Make sure what you’re building/doing actually solves an unmet need that people/companies have.
Ask For Help
Know what you’re good at and seek help for things you’re not good at. Build your strengths; let others step in to the role of your weaknesses.
Build Beneficial Partnerships
Find the synergy! Find partnerships that are actually beneficial for all included. When things are valued they are cared for – the same goes for relationships.
Build Lasting Relationships
Quality relationships over quantity. “Knowing of” someone only gets you so far. Friendships lead to happier lives and better business.
Always Add Value
Ask yourself the simple question: would I be interested in what I’m proposing to this person? If yes, go for it! If not, back to the drawing board!
Be passionate about what you’re doing! People want to work/help with passionate people. It’s exciting.
Go and do stuff that you’re passionate about!
A Boston native, Anthony moved to Cincinnati to attend Xavier University. In the past, Anthony worked an educational app for children with chronic illnesses and an app that helps medicare and medicaid patients create weekly health goals. Anthony is currently the Managing Partner of FEASTY, an app that connects hungry consumers to exclusive sponsored restaurant offers in real time. Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn.